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Globewanderer
United Kingdom

Serene Shangri-La

5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed Apr 10, 2024
The Shangri-La Boracay is a paradise; the location is stunning, the staff are fantastic and the food is delicious.

Pros:
- The location is spectacular. The waters are so clear, the beaches are pristine and the nature is abundant.

- The dining here is five star. The breakfast has an enormous variety of food from all different cuisines. We especially enjoyed the Sirena and Rima restaurants for their spectacular food, cocktails and glorious sunsets. It is also worth mentioning they catered beautifully for my dietary requirements and it was never an issue.

- For the latter duration of our stay, we stayed in the Loft Villa, which had its own generously sized pool. We loved the views, the privacy and service that came with it.

- Chi spa was a wonderful experience. It was very calming and the facilities were opulent. The massage itself was to a very high standard.

- On the whole the service was personable; with special mentions to John (Sirena), John (lifeguard), Junee (villa host), Just (Vintana) and Jenzel (Rima) for their warmth and protectiveness. Also, we encountered an issue with the laundry service, which was swiftly dealt with and we were not charged for.

Points for improvement:
- While the service is brilliant, the staff are not consistently warm throughout the resort. For example, we had a cabana experience at Sirena where we didn’t feel quite as prioritised by staff compared to previous experiences.

- The private dining was an experience we were really looking forward to. While the service was impeccable, and the food was delicious, the sheer volume of it was very overwhelming. E.g. there were four plates for our starter, a sizeable soup, seven plates for our main and four for dessert. It could have easily fed a group of six. So a lot went to waste, which we felt very bad about.

- For those staying in rooms without pools, there would definitely be a benefit in a quiet/adult pool, as the main pool can get very busy, especially with children.

Overall, we would highly recommend this hotel, as in our view, it’s one of the very best.
Date of stay: April 2024
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
4.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
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Hans Martin Gfrei, General Manager at Shangri-La Boracay, responded to this review
Responded yesterday
Dear Globewanderer45,

Thank you for your detailed and thoughtful review of Shangri-La Boracay. We are delighted to hear that you found our location stunning, our dining experiences exceptional, and that you enjoyed the privacy and views from your Loft Villa. It's wonderful to know that the Chi spa and the overall service, particularly from John (Sirena), John (lifeguard), Junee, Just, and Jenzel, enhanced your stay. We appreciate your constructive feedback regarding the consistency of service at Sirena, the overwhelming portions in private dining, and the need for a quiet/adult pool. Your insights are valuable and will help us improve. We are thrilled that you highly recommend our resort and look forward to welcoming you back to our paradise.

Best regards,

Hans Martin Gfrei
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 8, 2024 via mobile

ShangriLa Boracay

If you are looking for the perfect gateway to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, and rejuvenate in the laps of nature, look no further than this amazing resort!
Nestled in the midst of the turquoise water and the famous talcum powder beaches, this resort is a perfect example of home away from home. Sprawling and perfect landscaped gardens, pools and the impeccable service makes it the true ShangriLa experience that your heart craves.
Mr. Hans himself went out of his way to make our stay a memorable one. Mentions must be made of Michelle, Rachael, Amanda, Marilyn from housekeeping who literally went out of their way to make our stay comfortable and a happy one. All our requests were immediately attended to- we were made to feel so special! We cannot thank you enough for such impeccable hospitality. In the breakfast buffet, Jade and Lester were amazing and took care of all our needs.
Every tiny requests from placing a reed diffuser in the room to making our son feel special with Nikki- the Paniki, everything was immediately attended to. No requests were left unattended - instead they were done in a jiffy. We truly appreciate that.
Right from alighting the plane, all your needs are taken care of. Also, Mel - the captain with whom we went to the sunset cruise is absolutely amazing and knows the waters too well. We felt so safe in his hands. We highly recommend this amazing resort that truly lives up to its name.

Date of stay: April 2024
Trip type: Traveled with family
Thank Capt_Muk
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hans Martin Gfrei, General Manager at Shangri-La Boracay, responded to this reviewResponded yesterday

Dear Capt_Muk,

Thank you for your glowing review of Shangri-La Boracay! We are thrilled to hear that you found our resort to be the perfect escape and that you enjoyed our beautiful surroundings, landscaped gardens, and impeccable service. We are especially pleased to hear that Michelle, Rachael, Amanda, Marilyn, Jade, Lester, and Mel made your stay memorable and attended to your every need. Your kind words about our team's hospitality and the special touches for your son are truly appreciated. We are delighted to have made your stay special and look forward to welcoming you back to our little slice of paradise.


Best regards,


Hans Martin Gfrei

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2024

Beautiful scenic location with luxury facilities. Pool and beach area luxury beds and well serviced. Stayed in a tree house villa fabulous views with many extras, 1st butler was disappointing rushed through checkin information, booked us 2 resteraunts but did not explain the saefood cabana procedure and cost, then met by a rude member of staff that took us to a back table and told us there was a minimum spend for a cabanna view as though we could not afford it! We walked out and did not go back as were offended by the staff. Our butler went on leave and blocked our phone, and took 3 days to get re appointed to a new very good butler. Best restaurant was Prime, best steak ever, beach bar resteraunts excellent and ate here most of the time, portions massive and enough for 2! Overall a great vacation spot.

Date of stay: January 2024
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Pauline P
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hans Martin Gfrei, General Manager at Shangri-La Boracay, responded to this reviewResponded yesterday

Dear paulinepX6648BM,

Thank you for your review and for choosing Shangri-La Boracay. We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed the beautiful scenic location, luxury facilities, and the fabulous views from your tree house villa. However, we apologize for the disappointing experience with your first butler and the rude staff member at the seafood cabana, which understandably affected your dining plans. We are glad that you eventually received excellent service from your new butler and enjoyed the food at Prime and the beach bar restaurants. Your feedback is valuable, and we will use it to improve our services. We hope to welcome you back for an even better experience in the future.

Best regards,

Hans Martin Gfrei

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2024 via mobile

The experience starts with a speed boat transfer to the hotel’s own private jetty. Everything from here on is taken care of as you arrive in an abundance of immaculate gardens and clean, tropical public spaces. The rooms are spacious and comfortable and the bedding feels luxurious. There are plenty of activities from snorkelling to nature walking which all feel safe and you feel well looked after in the hands of the hotel staff. The clear blue waters and sandy private beach add to the feeling of exclusive luxury. The spa is set in its own grounds and has a choice of wonderful treatments. All the hotel staff are exceptional, stopping to great and speak to you each time they encounter you making you feel like a member of a royal family.
My only minor complaint was with the noise of a wedding which polluted “my Shanghai-la” momentarily, there not being a separate adult pool ( lots of noisy children - not my favourite) and the spa not offering any form of treatment menu when we arrived to book a treatment - the expectation was to click on a QR code. Call me old fashioned but I don’t have my phone in my hand every second of every day. There was also no room directory except a QR a code again, this feels somewhat like a cost cutting measure rather than an “environmental policy”.
Having said all this, I can not fault anything else about this hotel. The Shangri-la Boracay will forever remain one of my favourite holidays ever.

Room tip: Take the catamaran sunset trip from the hotel beach!
Date of stay: March 2024
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Thank Fullyflatbed
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hans Martin Gfrei, General Manager at Shangri-La Boracay, responded to this reviewResponded yesterday

Dear Fullyflatbed,

Thank you for your wonderful review of Shangri-La Boracay! We are thrilled to hear that you enjoyed the speed boat transfer, our immaculate gardens, luxurious rooms, and the wide range of activities. Your kind words about our staff and the exclusive luxury of our clear blue waters and sandy private beach are greatly appreciated. We apologize for the minor inconveniences you experienced with the wedding noise, lack of a separate adult pool, and the use of QR codes instead of printed menus and directories. We value your feedback and will consider it for future improvements. We are delighted to know that despite these minor issues, your stay was one of your favorite holidays ever.

Best regards,

Hans Martin Gfrei

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2024 via mobile

Everything’s perfect. From airport transfers and back. Everyone’s happy, sincere, and thoughtful. Will definitely come back once school year’s done. Room, view, cleanliness, ambience, food, safety, you name it. I can even do my training (running) within the hotel vicinity. My kids definitely felt at home and enjoyed everything.

Date of stay: June 2023
Trip type: Traveled with family
Thank eikabarcelonaa
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hans Martin Gfrei, General Manager at Shangri-La Boracay, responded to this reviewResponded yesterday

Dear eikabarcelonaa,

Thank you for your fantastic review! We are delighted to hear that everything from the airport transfers to the ambiance, food, and safety exceeded your expectations, and that our staff's sincerity and thoughtfulness made your stay even more enjoyable. It's wonderful that you could continue your training within our hotel and that your kids felt at home and enjoyed their time here. We look forward to welcoming you and your family back after the school year!

Best regards,

Hans Martin Gfrei

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2024

I had high hopes given the good reviews but we were quite disappointed. We booked 3 nights at the Shangri La Boracay, and had a very problematic stay due to so many issues. To keep it objective, here are are pros and cons:

Pros:
1. Food program was solid all across the resort, though breakfast is quite crowded, so come early for that.
2. Facilities are beautiful and well kept, including 2 beaches and if you have kids, the entertainment center has all sorts of arcade and board games
3. Rooms are spacious
4. They have a robust activity schedule, but note most activities cost extra, like kayaking and paddle-boarding.

Cons:
1. Service is inconsistent all across. We noticed a lot of inefficiencies and lack of communication between teams. For example, disturbance from cleaning staff unnecessarily ringing our room 15 times on two days after the room had already been “cleaned”.
2. Power went out at least 5 times every day across the entire resort. Even in good weather.
3. Internet is very poor
4. TVs are small and hard to cast. Not all rooms have Apple TV.
5. Cleanliness was not at a 5-star level. We had an incident where we found living cockroaches crawling over the bar area. More on this below.
6. Spa massage (03/28) was awful and extremely painful. Likely one of the worst I’ve ever had. The masseuse (Dolly) did not care I was sunburnt and was quite unprofessional in her delivery, exhibiting an angry demeanour.
7. Food is overpriced - a 25% markup to account for VAT, service charge, and local taxes. For Philippines, prices were unnecessarily high.
8. Way too many kids. For parents this may be fine but for those seeking peace and quiet, this is definitely not the resort for your vacation.
9. Hidden charges. Upon check out we were charged for the boats back to the dock. At no point was this disclosed. I asked 3 times if airport transfers were included and they said “yes” but were charged for those regardless.

My biggest problem is that the experience felt quite far from a 5-star hotel, especially for a Shangri La.

Cleanliness was a big issue. Hard for me to get over cockroaches crawling around our room and while the duty manager offered a $65USD food credit to make up for the 2 hours we lost fixing this issue, it was not enough to compensate the problem given how expensive the rooms are. The cleanliness issue kept getting worse as every day we noticed dirty mugs, glasses and wine glasses in our room that we had to wash ourselves eventually.

In conclusion, while I think the Shangri La Boracay is a beautiful resort, I would not stay here again. In fact, if I could go back in time, I’d book the Movenpick instead, which is 5x less in price, for similar facilities including the Punta Bunga beach which is shared with the Shangri La. When swimming by the shared beach, I went inside the Movenpick and was shocked to see how beautiful the resort is. So you are most definitely paying for a brand at the Shangri La, and it is so evident it is overpriced when the level of service is at best a 3-star.

Room tip: Pay close attention to the bad reviews. Service at this hotel is very inconsistent so booking here is like playing Russian roulette.
Date of stay: March 2024
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank JimmyS88Lama
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hans Martin Gfrei, General Manager at Shangri-La Boracay, responded to this reviewResponded yesterday

Dear JimmyS88Lama,

Thank you for taking the time to share your detailed feedback about your recent stay at Shangri-La Boracay. We deeply regret to hear about the numerous issues you experienced during your stay and sincerely apologize for not meeting your expectations.

We appreciate your positive comments regarding our food program, well-maintained facilities, spacious rooms, and the variety of activities offered at our resort. However, we are truly sorry for the inconveniences you encountered.

Your feedback about the service inconsistencies, power outages, poor internet, and TV issues has been noted and will be addressed with our respective teams to ensure improvements are made. We apologize for the disturbances from the cleaning staff and will reinforce our protocols to avoid such issues in the future.

The cleanliness issues you mentioned, particularly the presence of cockroaches, are deeply concerning. This is not the standard we strive for, and we will conduct a thorough review of our housekeeping procedures. We are also sorry to hear about your negative spa experience and the high food prices. Our aim is to provide value that matches the premium pricing, and we clearly fell short in this regard.

We understand your frustration with the hidden charges and the overall experience not aligning with the expectations of a 5-star hotel. Transparency and clear communication are critical, and we will work on ensuring all charges and policies are clearly conveyed to our guests.

We are grateful for your feedback as it highlights areas where we need to improve. While we regret that we did not provide the experience you expected, your comments will help us enhance our services for future guests.

We hope to have the chance to serve you better in the future.

Thank you once again for your valuable feedback.

Best regards,

Hans Martin Gfrei

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